Will the Marlins pursue a familiar face in free agency to return to the outfield?
While we have spoken at length so far this month about what the Miami Marlins might do to add more power in the middle of their lineup, the one thing I think that could become a “thing” is the pursuit of Marcell Ozuna once again.
Yes, the front office might pony up some cash to try to lure their former outfielder back to south Florida, to make amends for trading him to the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the start of Spring Training in 2017.
Should that happen, which may not be a back-breaking move for the organization, it would mean Miami gets a solid outfielder with a big bat and a familiar face who is popular with the faithful fan base. It also means the front office would basically recoup the 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic and still have Sandy Alcantara, the main piece of the trade the Cardinals and Marlins consummated, at the top of the team’s pitching rotation.
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The Marlins traded Ozuna to the Cardinals for Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano. Sierra will fight for a roster spot this coming Spring. Castano is still in the organization. Gallen made his Major League debut after the All-Star break but was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Jazz Chisholm.
Ozuna didn’t have the best numbers during the regular season, with 29 home runs and 89 RBI while batting .243. He did miss five weeks of 2019 with a hand injury, which means there were numbers left at the dish. He would give Marlins manager Don Mattingly a slugger who becomes the team’s top home run hitter once he steps on the field.
There are other players to consider, including Nicholas Castellanos and potentially Nick Markakis, who can also play first base. The front office will also have to make a determination on both Neil Walker, who can play multiple positions and Curtis Granderson, who wants to return to the team as a veteran leader and mentor to the younger players on the roster.
Miami does have a few prospects who will fight for a roster spot in camp in February. One who should get a long look is Monte Harrison, who is currently the team’s fifth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.